Colorado Birth Injury Lawyer
Representing Colorado Families Affected by Birth Injuries
The act of giving birth is stressful for both mother and child. In most cases, the birth goes well, and mother and child are healthy. In a percentage of cases, something goes terribly wrong, and the child is permanently injured due to various factors that can be present during delivery – including errors by medical professionals. There are accepted standards of care in treatment by doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons, OB/GYNs, and other practitioners. In some cases, a medical professional makes a serious error during the birth process, and the child is permanently damaged.
One of the greatest risks is restricted oxygen to the brain. The baby may be in extreme distress, and this urgent medical situation must be addressed correctly and quickly, or the child can be left with permanent damage such as mental retardation, hearing and eyesight impairment, developmental delays, and more serious conditions.
Some of the more common types of birth injuries include:
CP is the result of oxygen deprivation. A child with cerebral palsy can be left with a range of disabilities, both physical and cognitive. The classifications of cerebral palsy are generally:
- Mild: A child is capable of moving without assistance.
- Moderate: The child will require braces, medications, and various types of adaptive technologies throughout life ahead.
- Severe: The child will need a wheelchair, and extensive assistance in all life activities.
Children with CP will face various challenges, depending upon how oxygen deprivation affected the brain during the birth process. The most serious cases will mean the child must have a lifetime of care and treatment.
The paralysis of an arm can be the result of an injury to the nerves that control the arms, hands, and fingers. This nerve system originates at the shoulder. When the baby is caught in the birth canal, these nerves can be stretched, bruised, or irreparably damaged, leading to permanent paralysis of the arm.
During delivery, one of the greatest risks is restricted oxygen. If the birth is difficult, the lack of blood flow and oxygen supplied to the brain can result in permanent brain damage. In some cases, the damage is inflicted by medical tools such as forceps or vacuums. When wrongly used, the child can be left with permanent damage. About three out of every thousand children in the USA suffer brain injuries at birth. The child can face life ahead with severe disabilities, including mental retardation, learning disabilities, vision and hearing problems, and emotional disturbances.
Children who suffer distress during the birthing process are at high risk. The medical professionals attending birth must carefully monitor the child at every point, as restricted oxygen can leave a child that could have been born healthy with permanent disabilities, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that sends and receives signals to the arms, hands, and fingers. The nerves originate in the neck and shoulder, and if stretched, ripped, or severely bruised, the child can be left with a paralyzed arm.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is generally not affected in a normal birth, but the use of birth assistance tools such as forceps or vacuums can affect the spinal cord, and cause severe damage leading to paralysis.
Head Trauma and Fractures
The use of assistive tools in a difficult birth could put undue stress upon the baby’s skull, causing a fracture or internal brain bleeding, with long-term repercussions. Depending upon the site of the fracture and bleed, the baby can be permanently disabled.
Babies can be at risk of permanent disability in cases of shoulder dystocia – when the baby’s shoulders cause it to be lodged in the birth canal. The lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage or death, and damage to the nerves could leave a child with shaking, motor control problems, or permanent paralysis.
Resources for Parents in Colorado
Parents who have a child disabled at birth have access to a range of resources, both in support and medical care. Some of these resources include:
- Parent to Parent of Colorado
- Aspire Colorado
- Children’s Hospital Colorado
- Ability Connection Colorado
Get Legal Help for Cases of Birth Injury in Colorado
In Colorado and across the nation, about three out of every one thousand babies is injured at birth. If you suspect that your child’s impairments are the result of medical malpractice, your first (and most urgent) step is to connect with a qualified birth injury lawyer to investigate the facts in the case. There is limited time in which to file injury claims, so contact Birth Injury Safety for assistance. We can be reached at (214) 974-4121.